A COPELAND Borough councillor resigned from the Conservative Party on Tuesday in order to run for the Brexit Party in Barrow and Furness, a move described as “slightly strange” by a rival candidate.

Ged McGrath (pictured - photo by Tom Kay), who represents the Millom ward, said he had “listened to his conscience” by leaving the Conservatives, and called for Britain to leave the EU without a deal.

“We are left with having to back the Conservatives and a bad deal that was negotiated by Theresa May,” he said. “We need to start with a blank piece of paper and go from there.

“The EU has no incentive to give anything other than a bad deal.”

He dismissed suggestions he would split the Conservative vote, saying he hoped to attract Labour supporters who voted to leave.

Simon Fell, Conservative candidate for Barrow and Furness, said: “I welcome Ged to the fray. But it’s slightly strange he’s standing.

“As Nigel Farage himself said, splitting the vote will only lead to a remain alliance getting in and either a second referendum or the result being overturned.”

Chris Altree, Labour candidate for the constituency, said: “A no-deal Brexit would be disastrous for the Furness economy. Labour will negotiate a deal that protects jobs and defends workers rights.

“My campaign teams have been out on the doorstep all across Furness and we are receiving a very positive response from leavers and remainers.”

Earlier in the week, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said he would not be standing candidates in the 317 seats the Conservatives won at the 2017 election, meaning the party will not be represented in constituencies such as Morecambe and Lunesdale.